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19What is your opinion?

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  • DeAnn Hanisch
    Aug 2, 2001
      Dear fellow art educators,

      My question today concerns the debate over school
      voucher plans.

      What are voucher plans? Just as a refresher, voucher
      plans involve giving parents cash certificates,
      vouchers, or tax credits from public funds to pay to
      send their children to schools of their
      choice--private or public.

      The debate over school vouchers has resurfaced with
      the election of President George W. Bush in an effort
      to improve our educational system. Supporters
      maintain vouchers will strengthen the education system
      of the United states while those opposed contend that
      the vouchers will destroy the system and disrupt the
      social fabric of the nation.

      I tend to see both sides of the issue. Vouchers have
      the potential of reinforcing effective schools while
      encouraging change in those schools that are not as
      effective. On the other hand, school vouchers also
      have the potential of creating a divide between the
      haves and the have nots which would appear to go
      against the main goal of education: to educate the
      citizenry in order to live productively in a
      democratic society.

      I have participated in debates over this issue with my
      fellow grad school classmates this summer at the
      University of Nebraska at Omaha, and it appears most
      of us tend to be opposed to voucher plans because of
      the possible inequalities they could create.

      I'm very interested in what teachers across the
      country have to say about this issue. Are you for or
      against voucher plans and why? How do you think
      voucher plans would effect music, drama, and art
      programs in the public schools? Is there another
      alternative you feel that our government should
      consider that would strengthen the education of our

      --DeAnn Hanisch

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